Revered actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s sudden demise has shocked the country. Fans still mourn the late Bollywood’s actor death. This high-profile case has captured everyone’s attention, with the public openly speculating who the accused could be. The most recent accused under scrutiny is Rajput’s alleged girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty.
Her trial was under high scrutiny and has caused anguish to many people who have witnessed the media hounding her, and people sending her rape and death threats. Pursuant to this, a blog called Feminist Voices has drafted an open letter that is addressed to the media. The letter not only talks about the malafide coverage of Rajput’s death case but also delves deep into the abusive treatment doled out to Chakraborty who was recently addressed.
The letter has approximately 2,600 signatories, which includes well known Bollywood actors and directors like Anurag Kashyap, Gauri Shinde, and Zoya Akhtar, actor Sonam Kapoor. The letter has also been endorsed by over 60 organizations.
"You have been obsessed with creating only one narrative: a young woman who makes her own decisions, who lives with her boyfriend without marriage and who speaks up for herself instead of acting like a damsel in distress, has a morally dubious character, and is to be considered a criminal at any cost, without investigation, with the process of law and respect for her rights.”
“Hunt news, not women” the letter elaborates. The blog also highlights how Rajput’s death could have been an opportunity to shed light on the importance of awareness for mental health. Instead, the narrative is concentrated on a witch hunt against Chakraborty.
The letter also brings to light the past cases of actors Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt. It reads, “We know you can be different — because we have seen you be kind and respectful to the Salman Khans and Sanjay Dutt's of this world, urging us to think of their families, fans, and careers. But, when it comes to a young woman who has not even been proven to commit any crime, you have assassinated her character, egged an online mob on demonizing her and her family, fuelled wrongful demands, and called her to arrest your victory. Victory over what? Young women daring to make their own lives in a society that grudges them their freedoms?”
The letter highlights a very important point. It speaks about the revered, god-like status the media and the people gave the aforementioned actors, despite it being proved that they were accused of various crimes. However, when it came to a woman, the media was quick to assume facts and hound her over it.
The letter goes on to speak about the several important things that plague the nation currently like the sinking GDP< the coronavirus outbreak, the rising domestic violence rates during this lockdown etc.
The letter ends by urging the media to stop the witch hunt of Rhea Chakraborty and “to stop fuelling moral polarities of good women to be deified and bad women to be crucified which endangers all women.”